The study finds that winds have a strong and underestimated impact on Greenland melt

The study finds that winds have a strong and underestimated impact on Greenland melt

And this is a phenomenon that is not taken into account in the IPCC models. What we already know is that the ice cap melts… It melts in the summer and it’s normal… and in the winter it gains mass, thanks to snowfall… Only, due to climate change, the ice is melting more it is renewing itself, and has been doing so for nearly two decades. The main reason given is obviously the increase in temperatures…

But we have also observed in recent years a modification of atmospheric circulation in summer… with more frequent anticyclonic conditions… which favor southerly winds that bring warm air and the persistence of more sunshine which could accelerate the melting of the ice.

American, British and Belgian researchers they tried to understand if this change in winds could have a strong influence on the melting of the ice sheet… For this, they took a climate model… to which they added the currently observed winds… and made a prediction of the evolution of the ice cap melting if the current winds persist, but without including the increase in temperature linked to the increase in greenhouse gases…. just to observe the effect of these winds.

As a result, winds play a major role in Greenland’s melting…responsible for half of this melting observed since the late 1990s…and the impact of changing atmospheric circulation will not be limited to this area alone.

Interview with Saverio Fettweis is professor of climatology at the University of Liège and co-author of this study.


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The ancient Jezero crater lake on Mars contains organic molecules

No more ambiguity now, the Jezero crater was really a lake of liquid water, from 3 billion to 3 and a half billion years ago…. And obviously what worries scientists is whether this water contained the elements necessary for life… To do this, the researchers used the Perseverance rover’s SHERLOC instrument, a tool that allows you to study the fluorescence of organic compounds in rocks. ..

Consequently, all the samples contain it, without it being possible to say precisely which compound it is. Warning: the detection of organic compounds is not proof of life on this planet… it only increases its probability… And even more so because Curiosity, another rover exploring Gale Crater made a similar discovery last year … Now we have to wait for the samples taken by the rovers to return, the only way to carry out in-depth analyses.

48,500-year-old virus found still alive in Siberia

A few days ago there was talk of bacteria found in meltwater… This time it’s viruses, therefore smaller, discovered not in the water but in the Siberian permafrost, i.e. a fraction of land that remains permanently frozen. But they’re not much smaller than bacteria…because they’re viruses called giants. In total, 7 viruses were discovered by this research group from the University of Aix Marseille and reported in this pre-publication. The youngest is 27,000 years old and the oldest is 48,500 years old, which is a world record. And these viruses are “alive”… that is, capable of infecting cells again… but these viruses do not infect humans… but amoebas, eukaryotic microorganisms.

On the other hand, this is one of the dangers raised by some researchers…because if amoebae viruses are able to live so long…this could be the case for example of mammalian viruses…a risk impossible to estimate…but that’s not zero, knowing that more and more mines are moving into the region and stripping the upper layers of the permafrost for diamonds or gold.

Science leads to the explanation of a strange phenomenon: sheep that go round and round for days

This took place in Baotou, China. According to the farm owners and supporting video, their herd walked in a perfect circle for 12 days straight… In total, nearly 100 sheep joined the dance… and only one pen of the 34 that make up the sheepfold is touched . And there are two explanations given. The first: the sheep are infected by a microbe… perhaps by listeriosis, a widespread disease in sheep that causes neurological disorders… Only, it would have decimated the sheep in much less than 12 days… therefore the second hypothesis, that of a stereotyped behavior… i.e. a kind of tic… it is a behavior that is observed in cases of stress and boredom, so this means that bad breeding conditions would be the cause of this strange behavior.

The Irène Joliot-Curie Prize for Female Scientist of the Year was awarded this week

And the winner is Bérengère Dubrulle, research director of the CNRS at the CEA-Iramis of the University of Paris Saclay, who works on the turbulence of fluids. This Irène Joliot-Curie Prize, named after the daughter of Marie Curie, also a Nobel Prize winner, has been awarded for more than 20 years to give greater visibility to female scientists. Bérengère Dubrulle explains that her vocation was born at the age of 8, leafing through a history book which shows pictures of Marie Curie at her work. You explain, and I quote: ‘We need female role models in science so that today’s girls can identify with them and pursue scientific careers of their own.’

Thanks to Xavier Fettweis for his valuable explanations

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